For those of you that are looking to buy a home that you plan on living in for a while now is the time to buy! Prices are affordable and interest rates are unbelievably cheap. Even if prices go down a little further, with rates this low on a 30 year mortgage it is hard to imagine you not benefiting from substantial appreciation over the next 5-10 years. If you are sitting on cash then some of the distressed markets such as Las Vegas or Phoenix offer opportunities to buy on the cheap, and then generate a substantial cash flow yield by renting out the properties. In terms of playing real estate through the equities markets, banks and insurance companies are attractive in that they have huge mortgage portfolios, and the banks unfortunately own a lot of inventory that will cause far less losses if prices stabilize. Improvement in housing would be the biggest catalyst I can imagine at this time for the economy and the biggest beneficiaries would be the financials.
INVESTING IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS INVOLVES RISKS. OPTIONS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL INVESTORS.